Categorized | Children of the Future

Orgonomic Perspectives on the Health of Adolescents

Article by Stephan Simonian M.D.

Orgonomic Perspectives on the Health of Adolescents

In discussing this topic, I would like first to talk about the meaning of orgonomic perspective and the orgonomic point of view in general. I would like to describe briefly what we mean by orgonomic perspective.

Orgonomy grew from the womb of psychoanalysis. Reich was a psychoanalyst and himself a student of Freud. Freud, during different stages of his life, proposed different theories.  But generally, psychoanalysis is based on 3 major theories which were proposed by Freud. These theories are:

  • Libido Theory or Economic Theory. In this theory, Freud,  based on his clinical observation of children, proposed the presence of a psychosexual energy in the organism.  In infancy, it is mostly concentrated in oral area and its concentration changes during the growth of the child to the anal area and later on (around 3 or 4 years old) in the genital areas. He called these stages Oral Stage, Anal Stage and Phallic Stage. He suggested that orderly growth of this energy is a fundamental factor in proper psychological development in adulthood.
  • The second basic theory of Freud is the theory of conscious and unconscious or Topographic Theory. This theory proposes that the human psyche constitutes of an unconscious part and the conscious part. The unconscious part influences the person’s behavior and unresolved unconscious conflict causes neurotic symptoms.
  • The 3rd major theory of Freud is the Structural Theory, the theory of Id, Ego and Super Ego which developed later on.

Freud considered two types of neurosis:

  1. stasis neurosis (which happened because of sexual abstinence)
  2. psycho-neurosis.

Stasis Neurosis or Stasis Anxiety, according to Freud was developed because of dammed up Libido energy secondary to poor sexual release and sexual abstinence. The accumulation of the Libidinal Energy, sexual energy he described, causing a toxic reaction in the person with the symptom, such as palpitation or hyperventilation, sweating, etc.

Freud proposed that some counseling and helping the person to overcome this sexual abstinence can bring improvement of the neurotic symptoms. However, he also stated that in psychoneurosis there is an unconscious reason for the neurotic symptoms and its treatment requires psychoanalysis. He also stated that in psychoneurosis there is a core of stasis neurosis.

For treatment of psychoneurosis, Freud suggested the technique of psychoanalysis, he postulated that in psychoneurosis, making unconscious conflicts conscious will curve the neurosis.  In order to get into the unconscious, he proposed the technique of free association and dream interpretation. He stated that dreams are a golden road to unconscious.

Ernest Johns in his book titled “Life and Work of Sigmund Freud” says that Freud once said “It seems to be my faith to discover only the obvious, that children have sexual feelings, which every nurse maid knows and the night dreams are as much a wish fulfillment as day dreams”.

Freud’s proposed theory, of making the unconscious conscious by free association occasionally helps and brings improvement to  patients but in many occasions it does  lead to a curve. In the book,  Function of Orgasm, Reich gives the following example. He says that in 1920 Freud referred a patient to him, a waiter for treatment of sexual impotence. He was totally incapable of having an erection. The treatment ran a smooth course.

In the 3rd year we arrived to the reconstruction of primal scene. He was about 2 years old when this happened. His mother gave birth to a child and from the adjacent room he had seen the details of the delivery. The impression of a large bloody hole between the legs of his mother became firmly ingrained in his mind. On a conscious level  remained only the feeling of emptiness in his own genital area. He was a very quiet and well-behaved man, he never got exited. He never became angry or exercised criticism. Reich says that he gave a report of this case to the senior analyst and to the seminar on technique and was praised for correct elucidation of primal traumatic scene. However, in spite of this achievement, the patient did not improve. Reich says that he terminated the analysis few months later and the patient accepted this termination as he tolerated everything else in his life very calmly without any protest. Reich says that in fact it was precisely this emotional tranquility and calmness, his quiet and agreeable character in general that formed the pathological bases on which the erective impotence was manifesting itself as a symptom. He then became more focused on analyzing the character rather than the symptoms. He moved toward character analysis instead of symptom analysis. Inadequacies of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theories made Reich to develop these other theories. In this process Reich developed two major theories:

  • The Theory of Orgasm
  • The Theory of Armoring

These two theories grew together and at some point integrate and converge with each other.

Orgasm theory stems from Reich’s clinical observations that when patients were able to attain satisfactory sexual orgasm the neurotic symptoms improved and the improvement was lasting as long as the sexual ability persisted. This was also in accordance with Fredís theory of stases neurosis. Reich discusses many cases and give different case histories and descriptions reflecting the righteousness of this theory. The theory of orgasm is a rich theory and includes in it the concept of sex economy, discusses the concept of the surplus of energy as a result of hindrance of orgastic function and accumulation of energy and causes unpleasure and anxiety and its stagnation, which causes all types of biopathis and physical psychiatric illnesses as well.  The pulsatory nature of the living organism, constant movement of the living organism by contraction and expansion,  and its expression in the psychological realm as oscillation between unpleasure and pleasure. It also includes the explanation of four beat formula of mechanical tension, charged, discharged, and mechanical relaxation.

The reason for orgastic disturbance, however, the major reason of the person’s inability to have proper orgiastic function is armoring, which brings us to the second theory of the Reich, which developed parallel with the theory of orgasm. In the theory of armoring Reich discovers that the armored organism also is hindered in his sexual functioning. Armor in orgonomy is defined as a total defensive apparatus of the organism consisting of rigidities of character and chronic spasm of the musculature. It manifests in two forms; armor and muscular & physical armor. These two forms essentially connected with each other, they are not separable from each other and they are functionally identical and work as a defense against the break through of emotions, primarily anxiety, rage, sadness, sexual excitation, etc.

Character armor and muscular armor are a counterpart of each other and are functionally identical.  One in the realm of the psyche and the other in realm of the body and soma. Armor is a result of chronic character and muscular rigidities and contractions, which happen in the organism in the process of the clash of instinctual forces with social and environmental inhibitions. The chronic struggle of the child in preventing the expression of instinctual impulses and primary drives leads to permanent muscular and physical changes and establishment of permanent character logical features corresponding to physical and muscular contraction.

Armoring hence prevents the orderly and natural flow of energy in the body and it disturbs and interferes with the orgasm reflex and orgastic potency. It causes a stagnation of biological-sexual energy -life energy in the body. The armor becomes the bases of a wide range of biopathis and pathologies in the body, both physical and emotional.  Most dangerous of all, it causes emotional plague. From an orgonomic point of view, the health or sickness of an organism is judged by the ability of the organism to have the orderly flow of energy, unimpeded flow of energy, which is both a consequence and result of orgastic potency.

In psychiatric orgone therapy, in the treatment of the patients, we try to remove and resolve the armoring in order to establish a natural flow of energy in the body to establish the ability to express the feelings in an undistorted way and eventually to attain orgastic potency. This all goes hand in hand with the ability to love and to be incapable of lying, to be transparent. In orgonomy we fantasize to find ways to prevent the armoring. The prevention of armoring starts from birth onward. Reich says when a child is born, he comes out of womb 37 degrees centigrade into about 18 or 20 degree centigrade. As he comes out he is picked up by the legs and slapped on the buttock.  This is the first greeting, the first greeting is slap, next greeting is taking it away from the mother. It will sound incredible in 100 years. The baby has no body contact after having had 9 months of body contact in a very high temperature what we call it orgonomic body energy contact and the field action between them.

Reich says,

Then Jews introduced something 6 or 7 thousand years ago and that is circumcision. I do not know why they invented it, why they introduced it. It is still a riddle and everybody says it does not hurt, that is an excuse, of course. Now that is a murder, circumcision is one of the worst treatments of the children. They cannot talk, they just cry, what they do is shrink they contract, get away into insight, now that is the greeting. This poor infant tries to stretch out, find something to hold on, find some warmth, goes to the mother, puts his lips on the motherís nipple and what happens, the nipple is cold does not erect or milk does not come or milk is bad and that is quite average. So how does it have to respond to that bioenergetically it cannot come tell us ìO listen I am suffering so much so muchî it just cries and finally gives up and says no. It does not say no in words but that is the emotional situation.

Reich in this way describes armoring starting from infancy. Later on in the anal period during harsh toilet training and during genital phase of 3, 4 or 5 years old what Reich called first puberty when genital sexual impulses become strong, harsh treatment of the children lay the ground for armoring and causes the fear of sexuality in adolescence. Then in the beginning of puberty around the ages of 10, 11 or 12 year old the hormonal changes cause changes in the internal organs and the genitals start to become ready for genital contact and child enters the stage of adolescence.

Malinovsky, in his social research, found out that the period of latency does not exist in primitive tribes and the period of latency is a creation of patriarchal societies. When puberty starts sexual impulses and urges become strong and urgent, this goes hand in hand with the high emotional sensitivity of young people in this age. Recognition of the sensitivities of adolescence in these years and proper handling of them, acceptance, love, education and support is all necessary in providing a nurturing environment and we all are in agreement with it with all other professionals, who advocate for youth. However, we in orgonomy stress also on one aspect of adolescence that other institutions and disciplines that are working with them avoid discussing. We stress on the need of sexual happiness for youth. A subject that had not been dealt with at Reich’s time by social institutions and in fact social institutions have been suppressing it

Surprisingly, the same attitude exists now.  Perhaps with very little different after some 50 years since Freud’s death. In the contacts with adolescents and their parents and the school system, in clinical work, clinicians are faced with wide range of problems.  Complains of attention problems,  hyperactivity, antagonistic disorder or defiant disorder.  They come with fancy diagnostic terms of defiant behavior as if it is a major breakthrough discovery. They come for suicidal ideation in adolescence and cutting, etc. In dealing with these problems with adolescents, I realized that they have been left alone in the dark with no explanation, no teaching, nothing about the most important aspects of their development and their sexual development and maturation. This silence prevails in the families, in the school system, in teaching institutions, there isn’t a single institution that deals with this. There is no teachings about normal sexuality, how normal sexuality should be, how they should handle their sexual impulses in the absence of the possibility of sexual contact and no teaching about masturbation and the healthy nature of it or when it is unhealthy. It is surprising that it is all déja vu of my own years of adolescence.

To make sure that I am not out of touch with the present day youth problems, I asked my daughter, who is educated in children’s development.  I asked her opinion about the present day’s situation. She is also one generation closer to the adolescents then I am so she wrote me the following:

In adolescence it becomes much less clear cut.  There is a lot of debate and controversy in American culture on whether or not sex should be accepted as a part of adolescence or whether we should teach abstinence only programs in US high schools. Many people think that we should be much more open about sexuality like Europe, and instead of teaching kids that sexuality is something that they should be ashamed of or should hide, we should teach them that it is a natural part of life and that they should just be careful so as not to get diseases. In Europe, teenagers have a much lower rate of unwanted pregnancies or STDS. Many people attribute this to their attitude around sexuality.
This was a hot button topic in the last election. Sarah Palin was saying that she wanted to have abstinence only program in all high schools.  I think she already did it in Alaska. And a lot of people were criticizing her and asking her, “do you think that really works?”, because her own teenage daughter was pregnant.  But she still stood by her belief that high school teenagers should be taught not to have sex, and if we give them safe sex education, that this means we are condoning and encouraging that.  Many other people agree with her and say that if we educate teenagers or even make condoms or birth control available in high schools, then that is encouraging them to be sexually active before they are ready. Other people say that teenagers are going to have sex regardless, and if we educate them and provide condoms and birth control, we are at lease teaching them to be responsible.

Reich, in 1932 wrote an article under the topic of sexual rights of youth. This article 78 years later today Is still valid and applicable for today’s youth, Reich says young people want to know why  sexual matters are treated with such secrecy in schools, at home, and in the public in general. What is the significance of the compulsive day dreaming that they are struggling with, moodiness, excitation, isolation, sexual fears that occur in this age. What is the way out of it? Young people are contaminated on one hand by moralizers and advocates of abstinence and on the other hand by pornographic literature, which are both extremely dangerous. The sexual misery of modern youth is immeasurable but most of it is out of sight. The young people have more than the right to be enlightened, they are fully entitled to the emotional health and sexual joy in life. This means that even a tolerant attitude toward adolescent sexuality is not enough and they should be assisted to attain such joy and happiness.

From an orgonomic point of view we hold the view that the sexual need of young people has a central importance in their health and productivity and cannot be solved without affection and concern about their sexual life. We also need to keep an eye on hypocrisy deeply rooted in ourselves as well. We have to deal with ourselves as well as with problems outside ourselves.

To conclude I would like to quote a paragraph written by Reich in the book, “Reich Speaks of Freud

I assure you that there is no solution to this world’s problems unless this point is cleared up. Sociologically, politically, economically, psychologically, structurally, characterlogically in any single respect I do not believe that there will be a solution of any social problem as long as children and adolescence grew up with stasis of biological energy.

This post was written by:

- who has written 51 posts on Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy.

Dr. Simonian is a general and child and adolescent psychiatrist. He completed medical school in Shiraz University, Shiraz Iran. He completed his general psychiatric residency training and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York Medical College, Metropolitan Hospital Center. Concomitant with his psychiatry and child psychiatry training, Dr. Simonian completed the New York Medical College Psychoanalytic School Didactic Courses, including his own required personal psychoanalysis. In 1990, Dr. Simonian started his personal psychiatric orgone therapy, Reichian therapy, with Dr. Morton Herskowitz and in 1991 became a member of the Institute of Orgonomic Sciences (IOS), an Institute which is dedicated to promote and preserve Dr. Wilhelm Reich's work. Dr. Simonian started his private psychiatric practice in Milford, Massachusetts in 1984 and he was a chief of psychiatry department of Milford Regional Hospital for several years. He started his practice in Glendale, California since 2003. Dr. Simonian is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

2 Responses to “Orgonomic Perspectives on the Health of Adolescents”

  1. francesco zito says:

    This argument is very difficult to trait for some important motives, but the most dangerous motive is the level of genitality of everyone. Now if also an orgonomist give indication to look inside our hipocrisy, we need many attention and, in the same time many courage. If from the time of Reich, many things are not changed, and if in USA again is possible to hear that, a conservative senator like Paulin indicate that, is necessary to teach abstinence in the school, the situation is very serious. Also in Europe, what we see ,is the explosion of consumistic, pornographic sex. Now we need to begin from a simple indication: children and adolescent have the right to have a natural sexual life. What has happened in these last 50 years was the passage from the romantic-mask sexual life (first layer of the armor), under the dominant conservative power( religion, conservative political group) to the leftist, brain sexual, consumistic, pornographic life ( second layer of the armor), under the leftist political power(communism religion, extreme liberal power). All two, two side of the same medal. So actually what we can see are two position: conservative tendency to remain in direct and crude mode in the religious sublimation and in the old difference of roles, but now the emotional plague is more strong, and also for conservative is not easy to maintain the old armor like 50 years ago. The leftist tendency: open life in the reign of the devil, brain sexuality, with full acceptance of the all distorted natural emotions , no need to block pregenital perverted emotios and bdsm and pornographic sexuality( with full acceptance of homosexuality, transgender and transexual sexual life). In my opinion this second tendency is more dangerous of the first. All this is to introduce the concept of the: sexual ambient of the young people. My feeling is that exist an ambient, that can destroy all the good intention of healthy and natural organization, if these organization don’t have a their strong ambient, where children can develope towards genitality. I do a small personal example: I’ve passed inside all two ambients. one was a religious college where i had conservative sexual repressive education, result: beginning of the destruction of my sexual natural feeling….second ambient: life city in Rome, with an ambient where the presence of leftist , consumistic and pornographic life was very strong. Result: definite destruction of my sexual natural feeling. In the middle the last force and tentative to help me in this situation: my orgone therapy. Result: characterial and body hard work to eliminate the disaster, and is like to be a survived. What to do now?Are people who was undegone under therapy more healty? Yes , they are, this is my answer. Are they genital character? Is not an easy answer, maybe some, i like to think that many are on the road. Can be this the hipocrisy . My suggestion is this: the situation from the point of genitality is very serious and the enemies very strong , inside and outside of ourself, but in my feeling is time to afford one serious problem: can small organization ,like serious orgonomic association to have a more strong presence without sociologic ambient, where we can prove the validity of the work of Reich? This is not an accuse against serious orgonomy, is an invite for normal people who have enjoyed the benefits of orgone therapy to create ambient where is possible to confirm the intuition of Reich, to be sociologically speaking, relevant presence. In my feeling a Dor ambient, if is too strong, can block all the work of Or forces , maybe is this the motives because some good orgonomic force need to choice more natural places where continue the work. Is like to need fresh natural air, need to breath clean. The same can be with children and adolescent: how is possible to help they to have a natural sexual life if they live in an innatural sexual world? They have so many innatural imput. We have the courage to begin to create new fresh places? Now we have enough functional knowledge, in my feeling we have enough emotinal intelligence to give to the “function of the orgasm” a chance. Or my daughter has to repete my same ambient? For this act of courage (create new place for children), only a suggestion: to possess ,for all who want these places, a functional armor to fight against the shure enemies. Nor left armor. no conservative armor, but not ingenuos lost paradise, we can be warriors to defend our children.

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